Communication, Schedules, Travel, and Balancing – Podcast 63

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - April 23, 2019

Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast

Episode 63 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

Listen as we discuss these questions:

  • Will I be able to communicate with my partner about what is needed to be productive and caring parents?
  • Will I be able to create a framework that encompasses both sleeping and feeding schedules?
  • Will we be able to continue traveling once our twins arrive?
  • Will I be able to handle both twins at the same time while performing basic activities?

I also mention these two great books in the podcast:

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
Power of Positive Parenting


Communicating with Your Partner About Raising Twins

I was asked, “Will I be able to communicate with my partner about what is needed to be productive and caring parents?”

Husband and Pregnant Wife

You should be able to do this, and you should be able to start right now. That starts with being open and honest in your communications with your spouse even during the pregnancy. You don’t have to wait for the twins to arrive. In fact it’s probably better that you get practice in before the twins arrive so you can get in a good rhythm of communicating and having open, frank, and honest discussions so that when the twins come you can quickly and easily talk through the challenges that you’re facing. To put some structure around this you may want to consider scheduling regular weekly dates or discussions to talk about what is going on. This way you won’t let things fester or drive you crazy and you have a designated time and place when you can get together and talk about issues that you are facing as a family.

I also recommend that you read good books together as husband and wife and talk about what you would want to do differently. For example, my wife and I read a book called Positive Parenting together and we would try to practice one thing a day that we learned in the book during our interactions with our kids. Find a book that may cover a topic that you’re interested in or something that you would like to learn more about or something you would like to do with your family. Then take the concepts in that book, discuss them together, read the book together, and then try to practice them together. That will definitely help you work through and improve your communication with your partner so you can be the most productive and most caring and effective parents that you can be.

(RELATED: Your twins will need a lot of gear. Here's the complete twins baby registry checklist to get ready for your twins' arrival.

Framework for Twin Sleeping and Feeding Schedules

Here’s a good question: “Will I be able to create a framework that encompasses both sleeping and feeding schedules for the twins?” The answer is yes, but it’s going to take some work on your part.

Twins Sleeping

As an overarching theme to remember is try to keep your twins on the same schedule. Your activities and efforts should be focused on getting your twins aligned on the same schedule, and it will make your life a lot easier. Now, as far as frameworks go, we really like the framework that is outlined in the book, “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby” by Tracey Hogg. She has a formula called the “EASY formula,” that we used with our girls with great success.

The gist of the EASY formula is that your babies are going to go through a cycle. E is for eating. A is for activity. S is for sleep. Y is for you; for your time. So, your baby should go through this cycle multiple times a day, and the time between the different steps in the formula will change over time as your babies get older. But the pattern is the same. You’re going to feed your babies. They’re going to have some kind of activity, either playing with you or tummy time, and then they’re going to go to sleep. Of course when they’re sleeping it’s time for you to take a break and catch up on the things that you have to do. I’ll include a link in the show notes to the book by Tracey Hogg. We found it very valuable not just with our twins, but our singleton babies as well.

Can We Travel Once the Twins Arrive?

One of our readers asked, “Will we be able to continue traveling once the twins arrive?”

Traveling After the Twins Arrive

You will, but not at first. We traveled with our girls for day trips by car when they were still infants and by plane when they were just shy of one year old. Traveling with your twins is totally possible, and if you have to travel out of necessity even when they’re newborns, as we’ve talked about in a previous episode of the podcast, it is possible and you can do it. The logistical challenges, of course, change over time based on the age of your children. You may want to experiment to see how well your babies travel by doing short trips at first, and then stretch out to longer more complicated adventures.

Now, when you set out to travel you need to remember that with twins you’re going to have to reset your expectations of when you can travel, where you can go, and what you will be able to do. Perhaps the habits you’ve gotten into before twins, or with your vacations previously, those patterns are not going to hold. We had to plan our trips and the activities of our days around nap times and feeding times when we had our little girls. You also have to consider sleeping arrangements for hotels or rentals that you’re going to get as well as on the plane and different logistics of traveling with your twins.

(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)

If you are going to fly by plane, remember that while your twins are under 2 years old they can fly for free if they sit on your lap on the plane for domestic flights. This is an encouragement for you to get out with your twins earlier when they’re still very young. I know it feels like everything is hard to do when they’re very young, when they’re infants. Everything moves more slowly. It’s hard to get going, and it kind of deters you from wanting to get on a plane with your twins. But when we took our girls for travel on the plane when they were about one year old, we realized in retrospect, “Man maybe we should have tried this earlier.” It would have been easier to travel with them while they’re infants, and of course it’s going to be a little bit cheaper as well.

Handling Both Twins at the Same Time

I recently was asked, “Will I be able to handle both twins at the same time while performing basic activities?” The answer is that it depends on the activity that you’re trying to do.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Feeding twins at the same time
If you have both hands full with the twins, then no. You will not be able to do other things because all of your energy and focus (and your arms) will be used on the twins. However you’ll find that you can be very creative in trying to get things done. You’ll find that you’ll be able to do some things where you can take turns with the twins. For example, helping them get dressed, changing diapers, or giving them a bath. These can be done one twin at a time while the other twin waits in his or her crib, in a bouncy seat, or plays on the floor.

Other times, you’ll be able to do something for the twins at the same time. For example, tummy time or feedings. These can be done at the same time even if in actuality you are really switching between them very quickly. This is especially true of feeding. When you try to get the twins feeding together at the same exact time you may position one and then position the other, get the bottle set up for one, and get the bottle set up for the other. Then you’re just keeping an eye on both of them back and forth, making sure that there’s no problems.

(RELATED: Your twins will need a lot of gear. Here's the complete twins baby registry checklist to get ready for your twins' arrival.

So will you be able to handle basic activities while you have both twins at the same time? It depends on the activity and what you’re trying to do with your twins.

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Jurassic Park Style Twins Shirt

Picture by Donnie Ray Jones and surlygirl.

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

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